Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Great Inagua, Bahamas I

I got a great chance to make a second trip to Great Inagua, this past September.  When Doug called me, to ask if I could fill in for his partner, who had to cancel, I jumped at the chance.  

Our first evening on Inagua was one of the two "Fish Fry" evenings of the week.  Cracked conch, fish, shrimp, and BBQ chicken were plentiful at the oceanside "restaurants".
(I won't mention the mosquitoes!)

With calm winds and good tides, it looked to be prime permit fishing conditions.  However, after 3 days, with only 2 shots apiece, it was clear that the permit had other ideas.  

Fortunately, there are plenty of good sized bonefish, on Great Inagua, so we made the best of poor permit fishing. 


As we were fishing along, I spotted a big trigger fish, and dropped the AP Bonefish fly in front of the hungry fish. 

It was cool to watch it nose down and eat the fly!  It was awesome....for a few seconds...  
...since we were near a mangrove island, the trigger made a dash for the trees, and although I applied as much pressure as I could, to the 12 lbs. test, the trigger made it to the mangroves.  
Forget catching the fish...it was now  a matter of retrieving my fly & line.
Let's see....he went in about here....
...no, still no fish, or the end of my leader...
...maybe here...Yes!  Fortunately, I was able to find the fly (fish long gone), clip it, and pull my line from the trees... 
...Yep!  I love fly fishing!

In addition to the bonefish, I have wanted to catch a Mutton Snapper, on the fly, and I found one to make the day complete!
What a beautiful fish!

Next we decided to shift our attention to the "Lake".  This is a landlocked body of water, operated by the Morton Salt Company, that holds a good population of medium size (25-60 lb.) tarpon.  

As we poled along the mangroves, we spotted several tarpon cruising a small cove.  As I dropped the Tarpon Neutralizer fly, into the corner, a tarpon turned and ate the fly in a flash.  I was tight to my first tarpon of the trip...

The tarpon continued to eat our flies eagerly, with smiles all around!

 ...and eventually, I had my hands on our first tarpon.
Tarpon Neutralizer-fly of choice!

Doug was "up" next and he made the best of the opportunity.

This high flying acrobat really made the trip, as 50 lbs. of energy exploded into the air.

Fortunately we were in a relatively open area, and Doug could really apply the pressure!

Doug and I had a blast hunting tarpon in small pockets, and casting into tight lanes.  This type of fly fishing has got to be my favorite!

Yes, those are tarpon boiling in the background!

I think our smiles tell the story!

Thanks Doug, for a great trip, and fantastic memories!